Blair Witch is a phenomenon of a movie. The birth of “found footage” horror, Blair Witch scared the audience with its “ooo, this is a true story, so we are allowed to screen people’s deaths” garb that frightened everyone. Hushed video tapes and DVD’s were passed around schools, people were crying and screaming in the theatre and others never trusted the woods again. Made on a shoe string budget, Blair Witch is an outstanding independent movie that sent shock-waves globally and scared everyone.
This is not that movie. This is the sequel that ditched the found footage shtick in favour for a glossier narrative that ultimately failed on every level. Well... nearly every level.
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 is about as predictable as they come. Following in the footsteps of the victims of the first film, a group of hunters including a, *ahem*, Goth Psychic and Wiccan go on the search for the mythical spectre. Going to camp in the woods, they are disappointed that they have picked up nothing. After sending off another group of tourist after something “horrifying,” the leader, Jeff, takes the group to an abandoned broom factory (that is no mistake, my friends). There, our group starts disappearing one by one as something wicked their way comes.
With a beautiful rating at 13% on Rotten Tomatoes and the glorious winner of Worst Sequel Award at the Razzies, Book of Shadows is certainly a terrible, awful movie. It steers you down the beaten path then grabs a stick and beats you with it. All the while over-acting, unsuccessfully over complicating and ultimately falling flat of everything it was trying to expand on. Stretching the plot extremely thin whilst hitting you square in the face with a predictable twist, Book of Shadows cast some terrible spells that curse you threefold. Mind-numbing drivel, this is excruciating at best.
I don’t really know; it has an orgy in it? No, I jest, I actually like this movie. Maybe because I have a thing for witches and witchy type things or maybe it is nice to see the villain for a change. What Book of Shadows does is take an opposite route for a sequel and that has to be admired. They were trying something new. Ok, so it was taking a big risky gamble and has to be a perfect example as to why you shouldn't make unnecessary sequels, but there is gumption here and has creativity to boot.
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 may have taken a beloved horror story and turned it into a generic farce, but the heart is in the right place. So it doesn't recognise what a funny movie it is and tries so desperately to be thought of as good that it is kind of tragic. There isn't a potion to cure this movie so it must be celebrated as bad. But that’s ok; it is a great laughable movie and who doesn't want to laugh at the movies...